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Russia's Election webcams, should we have them too?

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:20 PM
  • 11 Replies

Should we have webcams at polling stations to prevent voter fraud?

Russia Says Web-Cam System ‘Worked Normally’

European Pressphoto Agency
Monitors look at screens with images from a network of surveillance web cams installed at polling stations all over Russia.

MOSCOW — The Web-monitoring system put in place for Russia’s presidential election “has worked normally,” helping prevent fraud across the country, Russia’s communications ministry said.

As the Central Election Commission was announcing preliminary election results, which showed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with over 60% of the vote, Tina Kandelaki, the head of a Putin-mandated election monitoring group, said ballot stuffing was observed at a polling station in Dagestan, in Russia’s North Caucasus region. Later, Leonid Ivlev, deputy head of the election commission, said results from that polling station would be deemed invalid.

Therefore, it would seem that the Web-monitoring system, which cost the government $447 million, has caught only one fraudulent act on camera during the voting stage of the election.

“The first stage of the system has worked normally,” Russian Communications Minister Igor Shyogolev told journalists on Sunday night, adding that “the system was created to resist hacker attacks,” according to Interfax.

The system survived “around a hundred [cyber] attacks” from as far as Japan, Pakistan, India, China, the U.S. and some Russian regions, he said. Some, like the head of Ingushetia Republic, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, said that the cameras helped avoid provocations because those looking to commit a violation knew they were being watched. “The decision to install the cameras has proven itself absolutely right,” he said. “The state has incurred some losses but it was worth it.”

“These are the most fair elections in the history of Russia,” Stanislav Govorukhin, the campaign manager for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said at a press conference on Sunday.

On Sunday, Mr. Putin said: “This is a unique know-how, which cannot be seen anywhere in the world.” According to the prime minister, 98% of all cameras installed at polling stations were working on election day.

Independent observers, however, say most cases of fraud were committed not by ballot stuffing but by rewriting protocols at local election commissions or by having people vote on behalf of others or vote from home, none of which can be caught on camera.

The head of the election commission, Vladimir Churov, even suggested that the Web-monitoring system be used in the U.S.

“I can say from the bottom of my heart that if you do not have a wall like that, then the U.S. elections may be considered illegitimate,” he said, standing with his back against the screen showing footage from multiple cameras across Russia.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Russia’s $447 million webcam project
  • 91,700 of Russia’s nearly 95,000 polling stations have 2 cameras for live online broadcast of voting
  • 60,000 locales got high-speed Internet for the first time

Source: Russia’s Communications Ministry; Rostelecom state telecommunications agency

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:20 PM
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Replies (1-10):
matreshka
by on Mar. 5, 2012 at 9:12 AM

I think we do need some sort of oversight like web cams that can monitor the voting process without compromising an individual's privacy.  Like having a few set up to pan across the polling site. 

We need to catch things like ballot stuffing, people being turned away and how the machines are working.

matreshka
by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:20 AM

So does anyone have any thoughts on whether or not we should have web cams at our polling sites???

bluerooffarm
by Silver Member on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:22 AM

 Yikes!  1984 anyone?

matreshka
by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:25 AM

I can see my post might sound like that, especially when its about Russia too, but I meant for more honorable means. Not so that they can see who is voting for who but to catch signs of obvious fraud, like ballot stuffing, throwing away ballots, turning people away who have the right to vote who want proof they were turned away even though they were properly registered.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Yikes!  1984 anyone?


bluerooffarm
by Silver Member on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:38 AM

 The cameras and the ID to vote both sound like methods of controlling who gets to vote to me.  I'm more concerned about a wonderful hacker reprogramming the computerized voting machines than I am of box stuffing and throwing away ballots.  Turning away registered voters is a problem and it is more of a problem where ID is needed, but I'm not sure that cameras are the way to go.  I think true voter fraud is often top down and it may lead to the guy sitting in the control room talking via cell phone or ear bud to the poll guy to turn a voter away because he/she is black, hispanic, or a woman which are all easy to see conditions via a camera.

Most voter "fraud" is nothing more than convicts who don't realize that they can't vote and ESL people who fill out the forms incorrectly (that's the case in Wisconsin and Texas).  True, premeditated voter fraud is top down, difficult to prove and often doesn't get prosecuted or gets dismissed for lack of evidence, IMO.

Quoting matreshka:

I can see my post might sound like that, especially when its about Russia too, but I meant for more honorable means. Not so that they can see who is voting for who but to catch signs of obvious fraud, like ballot stuffing, throwing away ballots, turning people away who have the right to vote who want proof they were turned away even though they were properly registered.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Yikes!  1984 anyone?


 

Fairegirl33
by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:40 AM

 Absolutely NOT.... secret ballot anyone ???

matreshka
by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Good points especially about the hacking of machines.  That is something I worry about too.

The two presidental elections ago, I voted, my ballot wouldnt go into the machine, it kept saying "error" after only a few tried the polling volunteers told me not to worry about it, but I still feel my vote was never processed.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 The cameras and the ID to vote both sound like methods of controlling who gets to vote to me.  I'm more concerned about a wonderful hacker reprogramming the computerized voting machines than I am of box stuffing and throwing away ballots.  Turning away registered voters is a problem and it is more of a problem where ID is needed, but I'm not sure that cameras are the way to go.  I think true voter fraud is often top down and it may lead to the guy sitting in the control room talking via cell phone or ear bud to the poll guy to turn a voter away because he/she is black, hispanic, or a woman which are all easy to see conditions via a camera.

Most voter "fraud" is nothing more than convicts who don't realize that they can't vote and ESL people who fill out the forms incorrectly (that's the case in Wisconsin and Texas).  True, premeditated voter fraud is top down, difficult to prove and often doesn't get prosecuted or gets dismissed for lack of evidence, IMO.

Quoting matreshka:

I can see my post might sound like that, especially when its about Russia too, but I meant for more honorable means. Not so that they can see who is voting for who but to catch signs of obvious fraud, like ballot stuffing, throwing away ballots, turning people away who have the right to vote who want proof they were turned away even though they were properly registered.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Yikes!  1984 anyone?


 


matreshka
by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:43 AM

I totally agree with the secret ballot, but cameras that don't focus in on the citizen voting, just taking video of the overall polling site.

Quoting Fairegirl33:

 Absolutely NOT.... secret ballot anyone ???


bluerooffarm
by Silver Member on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:44 AM

 That would worry me too.  I think I would have made them try till it was accepted or given me a written ballot.  That sounds very fishy to me!

Quoting matreshka:

Good points especially about the hacking of machines.  That is something I worry about too.

The two presidental elections ago, I voted, my ballot wouldnt go into the machine, it kept saying "error" after only a few tried the polling volunteers told me not to worry about it, but I still feel my vote was never processed.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 The cameras and the ID to vote both sound like methods of controlling who gets to vote to me.  I'm more concerned about a wonderful hacker reprogramming the computerized voting machines than I am of box stuffing and throwing away ballots.  Turning away registered voters is a problem and it is more of a problem where ID is needed, but I'm not sure that cameras are the way to go.  I think true voter fraud is often top down and it may lead to the guy sitting in the control room talking via cell phone or ear bud to the poll guy to turn a voter away because he/she is black, hispanic, or a woman which are all easy to see conditions via a camera.

Most voter "fraud" is nothing more than convicts who don't realize that they can't vote and ESL people who fill out the forms incorrectly (that's the case in Wisconsin and Texas).  True, premeditated voter fraud is top down, difficult to prove and often doesn't get prosecuted or gets dismissed for lack of evidence, IMO.

Quoting matreshka:

I can see my post might sound like that, especially when its about Russia too, but I meant for more honorable means. Not so that they can see who is voting for who but to catch signs of obvious fraud, like ballot stuffing, throwing away ballots, turning people away who have the right to vote who want proof they were turned away even though they were properly registered.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Yikes!  1984 anyone?


 


 

Fairegirl33
by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:50 AM

 Here in FL, we have paper ballots and optical scanner machine.

 I don't think there would be much to see....  I still don't agree with it.  I think that we need to count on, and trust our election officials and poll workers.

Quoting matreshka:

I totally agree with the secret ballot, but cameras that don't focus in on the citizen voting, just taking video of the overall polling site.

Quoting Fairegirl33:

 Absolutely NOT.... secret ballot anyone ???


 

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